independent, in-depth social journalism for health

The Croakey team

The “Croakey Connective” is steered by public health journalist Melissa Sweet, in collaboration with many others. The team includes the editors, as well as contributing editors, columnists and people who collaborate on various projects.

Members of the Croakey team wear multiple hats, and the editors declare our conflicts of interest here.

Editors

Melissa Sweet

Melissa SweetFollow her on Twitter: @croakeyblog.
Melissa Sweet is an independent journalist, media columnist, author, blogger and researcher. She has been covering health matters for more than 25 years. She founded Croakey and @WePublicHealth. She is a Croakey editor, as well as contributing to various projects, including #JustJustice, #JustClimate and #IHMayDay. Melissa is a founding member and former chair of the Public Interest Journalism Foundation. She is the author or co-author of several books, including Inside Madness, The Big Fat Conspiracy, Ten Questions You Must Ask Your Doctor, and Smart Health Choices (free). Before turning to a freelance career in the late 1990s, she covered health and medicine for the Sydney Morning Herald and Australian Associated Press. She is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Canberra, and has an honorary appointment as senior lecturer in the Sydney School of Public Health at the University of Sydney. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists (US-based), the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, and the Australasian Medical Writers Association. Read more here. 

COI declaration: As well as the associations outlined above, Melissa has been a columnist for Medical Observer (when there was still a print edition), and writes occasionally for the online publication, Inside Story. Melissa does occasional writing projects for the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives, and the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. Her PhD supervisors are Associate Professor Kerry McCallum, Professor Matthew Ricketson and Dr Kate Holland at the University of Canberra and Professor Pat Dudgeon at the University of Western Australia, and Dr Lynore Geia from James Cook University. Members of her PhD advisory committee are: Associate Research Professor Alwin Chong from the University of South Australia; Kathleen Musulin from Carnarvon; Richard Weston from the Healing Foundation; and Renee Williams from the Apunipima Cape York Health Council.

Marie McInerney

Marie McInerneyFollow her on Twitter: @mariemcinerney
Marie McInerney is an editor at Croakey and reports for the Croakey Conference News Service. She also contributes to various projects, including #JustJustice and #CripCroakey. She is a freelance journalist for a range of publications, including Croakey, BBC Australia, Thomson Reuters, the British Medical Journal, the Saturday Paper and Text Pacific publications, including the HCF member magazine. She is a member of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance and a former Board Member of ICAN (International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons) Australia. She has previously worked as a tutor on writing and journalism at RMIT.

COI declaration: Marie has received fees and travel related expenses for attending a number of conferences and events on behalf of the Croakey Conference News Service, as well as a policy simulation exercise organised by the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association. Marie does occasional paid work for not-for-profit organisations, including writing and editing reports and other communications. Clients have included the No More Deaths family violence alliance, the Victorian Council of Social Service (VCOSS), VICSERV, Women with Disabilities Victoria, Berry Street, Jesuit Social Services, the Climate & Health Alliance, Domestic Violence Victoria (DV Vic), Department of Health and Human Services, VicHealth, and Victoria’s Commission for Children and Young People. She has also worked in recent years for the Wicking Trust (conference reporting) and CMAX Advisory (media/policy reports).

Jennifer Doggett

JenniferDoggett_bio_200Follow her on Twitter: @JenniferDoggett
Jennifer Doggett is an editor at Croakey and reports for the Croakey Conference News Service. She is a Fellow of the Centre for Policy Development and a consultant working in the health sector for a number of professional, industry and consumer groups. She has previously worked within the Federal Department of Health, as a political advisor and in a community health organisation. She worked for Nicola Roxon when she was opposition Health spokeswoman and before that for Meg Lees when she was leader of the Democrats. Jennifer is the author of “A New Approach to Primary Care for Australia” and “Out-of-pocket: rethinking co-payments in the health system”, and a contributing author to CPD’s recent publication More Than Luck: Ideas Australia needs now. Jennifer’s chapter Getting health policy into shape argues for a sharper focus on addressing the issues which matter most to consumers: out-of-pocket expenses, co-payments, and unequal access to health-care providers. She has a Masters in Public Health and a Graduate Diploma in Health Economics.

COI declaration: Jennifer is Chair of the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance. She provides (or has previously provided) consultancy services to a range of different organisations in the health sector including: Department of Health (Commonwealth), NSW Health, The Royal Australasian College of Psychiatrists (via CEG-AP), The Black Dog Institute, The Australian Commission on Quality and Safety in Health Care, the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute, the Australian Health Care Reform Alliance, Consumers Health Forum and Stryker Australasia (via CMAX Advisory).  Jennifer has received fees and travel related expenses for attending a number of conferences and events on behalf of the Croakey Conference News Service, as well as a policy simulation exercise organised by the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association. She has previously been employed by Client Solutions,  the Australian Divisions of General Practice,  a federal Senator (from the Australian Democrats), the AIDS Council of South Australia and the Federal Department of Health.

Other editors

Two other editors joined the Croakey connective in August 2015, and take occasional weeks in the chair: Dr Ruth Armstrong and Amy Coopes.

Dr Ruth Armstrong

Dr Ruth ArmstrongFollow her on Twitter: @DrRuthAtLarge
Ruth is an occasional editor at Croakey and also plans to offer medical storytelling workshops as part of the Croakey suite of professional services. With a background in general practice, she worked from 1997-2015 on the editorial team of the Medical Journal of Australia. Her long career at the MJA included working as Indigenous Health Editor, and undertaking special projects such as MJA books, supplements and theme issues. From 2011-2015 Ruth was the Medical Editor of, and weekly columnist for, the MJA’s online newsletter, MJA InSight. She has a passion for written communication of all kinds. From the poetical brevity of twitter to the turgid tomes of academia, what we write, and the way we write it, has the power to inform, to persuade and to influence.

Amy Coopes

Amy CoopesFollow her on Twitter: @coopesdetat
Amy Coopes is an occasional editor for Croakey and also reports for the Croakey Conference News Service. She is a seasoned reporter with more than a decade’s experience in news, including several years as Australia correspondent for Agence France Presse. She is now a medical student, but continues freelance work, contributing to the BMJ, Fairfax and various UNSW publications. Amy has a Bachelor of Arts (Communications – Journalism) and Master of Arts (Creative Writing) and is working towards a Bachelor of Medical Studies/Doctor of Medicine.

COI statement: Amy is studying Medicine on a Department of Health scholarship and is also a John Flynn scholar with the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine. She has travelled to the Northern Territory on a bursary from the UNSW Rural and Allied Health and Medical Students society and through the NT Rural High School Visits program, a workforce initiative of Health Network Northern Territory. She does occasional paid writing and editing work in the government and university sectors for clients including VicHealth, the University of Tasmania and the University of New South Wales.

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Other team members

Mitchell Ward

Mitchell WardFollow him on Twitter: @rocklilydesign
Mitchell is the creative director and website developer for Croakey. He is also principal of Rock Lily Design, and has vast experience in graphic design and web development across a multiple of industries including multinational companies, small boutique businesses, not-for-profit organisations, government and non government organisations and academia. Mitchell has creative skills in both website development, photography and videography and is a keen musician and artist.

Summer May Finlay

Follow her on Twitter: @OnTopicAus
Summer May Finlay is a Yorta Yorta woman who grew up in Lake Macquarie near Newcastle. She engages with Croakey in a number of capacities, including as a contributing editor, and as a member of the #JustJustice project, and has reported for the Croakey Conference News Service. Summer is currently undertaking a PhD with the University of South Australia, has a Master of Public Health Advanced majoring in social marketing from the University of Wollongong and a Bachelor of Social Science majoring in linguistics from Macquarie University. Summer has worked in a number of different areas relating to Aboriginal health and social justice. Summer currently works in Aboriginal health in a policy and research capacity, and has also worked at the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples (Congress) in Policy and Communications roles. She spent two and a half years at the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW and at the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation respectively. Summer also has four years’ experience as a youth and children’s worker.

Dr Tim Senior

Tim SeniorFollow him on Twitter: @timsenior
Tim is a GP who works in Aboriginal health, and who crowdfunded the Wonky Health columns at Croakey, investigating the impacts of policies upon health. He is a contributing editor at Croakey, and also a contributor to the #JustJustice project. He has his own blog, and won the inaugural Gavin Mooney Memorial Essay Competition, writing about climate change and equity.

Michelle Culhane Hughes

We’d like to thank Michelle for her past work as a Croakey editor.

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Contributors, collaborators and columnists

Kellie Bisset, Megan Howe and Ellice Mol

Follow them on Twitter at: @medicalmedia @meghow68 and @ELeechiMo
Kellie and her colleagues at the Sax Institute, Megan and Ellice, contribute the fortnightly Health Wrap, an excellent compilation of global, national and local health news. This is a probono contribution from the Sax Institute.

Kelly Briggs

Follow her on Twitter: @TheKooriWoman
Kelly is an award-winning blogger and writer. She crowdfunded to write a series of articles for Croakey, The Koori Woman columns, and is a contributor to the #JustJustice project. Kelly is also a judge of the Gavin Mooney Memorial Essay Competition. She took first place in the Australian Writers Centre’s ‘Best Blogs of 2014’ commentary section, and has written for The Shake, Monash University’s Castan Centre and Guardian Australia.

Dr Justin Coleman

Follow him on Twitter: @drjustincoleman
Dr Justin Coleman is a GP who works in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health in Brisbane, and contributes the Naked Doctor column to Croakey. He holds a Masters in Public Health, and is President of the Australasian Medical Writers Association.

Dr Lynore Geia

Follow her on Twitter: @LynoreGeia
Lynore is a Bwgcolman woman from Palm Island, Queensland, a mother, registered nurse, midwife, senior lecturer and researcher in Nursing, Midwifery and Nutrition at James Cook University. She founded #IHMayDay – a day-long Twitter program of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people tweeting about health matters. It was held in 2014 and 2015 in collaboration with Croakey. Read more here and here. Lynore coordinates and teaches the Indigenous Health subject to undergraduate and postgraduate nursing and midwifery students. Her current research activity involves working with her home community of Palm Island in partnership with the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector.

Fronscesca Jackson-Webb

Follow on Twitter: @Fronj
We acknowledge and thank Fron, the health and medicine section editor at The Conversation, for collaborating with Croakey and cross-posting their articles.

El Gibbs

Follow her on Twitter: @bluntshovels
Award-winning writer El Gibbs, who writes from both a policy wonk and a disabled perspective, has crowdfunded #cripcroakey – a series of articles about disability and health. She has over 15 years experience in the community and not-for-profit sector, working in policy and advocacy on disability and other social issues. She has written previously for the Sydney Morning Herald, Guardian Australia, ABC RampUp, Crikey and the King’s Tribune. She won the 2014 Gavin Mooney Essay Competition with a strong piece about mental illness and housing and has been a contributor to US magazine Model View Culture on the topic of disability and technology. She also has a blog.

Dr Melissa Stoneham

Follow her on Twitter: @drmelstoneham
Melissa, Deputy Director with the Public Health Advocacy Institute of WA, writes the regular Journal Watch column for Croakey. Throughout her 25 year career, she has worked with local, state and national government agencies in the areas of environmental health, health promotion and public health policy. Melissa has also worked within the University sector teaching public health at QUT and is now based at Curtin University in Perth. Highlights of her career include humanitarian aid roles in Mozambique and in the Pacific.  More recently, Mel has taken a keen interest and involvement in gambling from a public health perspective, Indigenous health issues and the art and science of public health advocacy.

 

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 Croakey Conference News Service

Journalists and others who have contributed to this service include:
Annie Blatchford
Rosemary Cadden
Mardi Chapman
Amy Coopes
Jennifer Doggett
Summer May Finlay
Matthew Giles
Marie McInerney
Marge Overs
Melissa Sweet
John Thompson-Mills

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